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HomBoms Toys May Close as Mediterranean Joint Bustan Debuts on UWS

By Emily Frost | February 27, 2014 11:09am
 The store has been part of the neighborhood since 2009.
Toy Store HomBoms May Close
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UPPER WEST SIDE — HomBoms Toys could be the latest casualty in a slew of Upper West Side children's retailers closing their doors, including Area Kids and Planet Kids, which shuttered earlier this year.   

The store, which also has locations on the Upper East Side and in TriBeCa, describes itself as "a classic neighborhood toy store," and sells an array of gifts, crafts and games. 

HomBoms' Columbus Avenue and West 79th Street location, which has been open since 2009, is being marketed by Douglas Elliman broker Faith Hope Consolo, who said the store would close in May.

Kathy Caba, the store's manager, said she did not know about the closing and that the owner, Ilene Gayer, was out of town and unreachable.

Consolo, along with broker Joseph Aquino, are marketing the 1,409-square-foot space for $300 a square foot. In just a week, Consolo said she's received a dozen offers above the asking price.

Possibilities range from a new menswear shop to an upscale eyeglasses store to a well-known beauty chain, she said.

"Columbus Avenue is really, really a magnet now," Consolo said.

► New Mediterranean restaurant Bustan officially opened Wednesday in the space formerly occupied by Hey Mambo on Amsterdam Avenue at West 83rd Street. 

"It’s a little bit Israeli, a little bit Greek, a little bit Spanish," said chef and partner Efi Nohan of the eatery's cuisine.

An enormous oven, known as a taboon, takes up at least a third of the kitchen and is the star of the restaurant, he said. It fires at extremely high heats and can "make like probably 150 pizzas an hour," Nohan added. Plus, its rotating base means food is cooked more evenly. Almost everything on the menu— from flatbread to fish to roasted chicken — goes through the oven, he said. 

Nohan made the move to Bustan from Barbounia, the Union Square area restaurant, where he developed a following for his hummus, he said. He said he labors over the perfect ratio of chickpeas to tahini and uses only the best imported tahini and olive oil to create his signature dish. At Bustan, the hummus plate can serve as an entree, topped with meat or vegetables, and served with bread, olives and pickles, he said. 

The 74-seat restaurant, which is open for dinner Monday through Saturday, is less expensive than other places he's worked and also smaller, Nohan said.

"I can control the food better. It’s much more personal," he said. "Hopefully the food will be better."

► The former home of Subway on West 72nd Street will soon house a creperie, confirmed Rafe Evans of Walker and Molloy, which marketed the space. Crepes & Delices is the name of the new creperie at 124 W. 72nd St., he said. Another creperie, part of the chain Vive La Crepe, is opening on Columbus Avenue at West 86th Street, West Side Rag reported

► A nearly 10,000-square-foot CVS is opening at the northern corner of West 77th Street and Broadway, public relations director Michael DeAngelis said. The pharmacy is expected to open in mid-April and it will sit next to a Marshalls, which is under construction and opening at the corner of West 78th Street and Broadway. The non-pharmacy part of the store will be open 24 hours, said DeAngelis. 

► FIKA, the Swedish coffee shop, opened its doors Sunday on Broadway between West 78th and 79th streets with to-go food, chocolate, coffee and pastries.